Good thoughts for Phoenix Rev appreciated

Several people have inquired as to where things are so I thought I would give an update.

First, my body is working hard to find a way to get around the pain medication. It simply is not as effective as it has been so I need to find another medication that will work. I have an appointment planned with my PCP next week to discuss some options. /fingers crossed.

Second, tomorrow is my MRI. I will admit that I am having some anxiety issues over this. When I had my first brain MRI back in the spring (when all of this started), I left the MRI facility and called Rubb Ed in tears telling him that for the first time in probably 30 years I needed a drink. This is rather shocking coming from me as I have never even been drunk in my life. The closest I got was the time I finished off a chalice of wine at the end of a communion service. On an empty stomach. In a hot and humid church. Let's just say getting my vestments off were a ... um... challenge.

The anxiety comes from the fact that I am going to be pretty much incapacitated for about an hour, which is really difficult for me to handle not because I have claustrophobia, but because I feel like I have no control over anything. And, really, if I want that incapacitated-for-an-hour-and-out-of-control-over-anything feeling, I know some people at certain bars in Phoenix that can assist.

Here is the MRI machine itself. It looks fairly innocuous.

IMAGE(http://www.feastinginphoenix.com/images/MRI.jpg)

But, in order to make sure the head is centered and kept from moving, I will get the Hannibal Lecture Bondage Headgear thing seen here:

IMAGE(http://www.feastinginphoenix.com/images/mrimachine.jpg)

Yay, me.

But, the worst part is that the procedure takes 45-50 minutes, and during that time, the machines magnets and whirling doohickeys are right next to my ears. It is loud, even with the earplugs, and it is unnerving. If you have never had a brain MRI done, here is the lovely, dulcet sounds you get to hear:

I shared that clip with Rubb Ed a few months ago and he made it through about two minutes before deciding that one overly anxious sodomite in the relationship was enough.

Thankfully, my kind doctor gave me a prescription for Ativan to help give me some relief from the anxiety. However, it can only do so much.

So, at 2:00 PM tomorrow, I will get this second MRI done and then wait for another week to meet with the team of neurology specialists at Barrows to go over all of my medical records for the past six months and see what is the cause of the problems.

And, lastly, let me just say how wonderfully supportive and caring the Goodjer community has been through all of this. I won't lie and say that I am being a brave trooper here. I am scared, and Rubb Ed has heard and see enough tears from me to fill the Pacific Ocean.

However, it provides such wonderful relief to know that you are loved and cared about, so thank you all so very, very much.

I will update tomorrow after the MRI followed by a tall Bombay Sapphire Gin and Tonic (with two limes).

PR I just finished having my 3rd head MRI done, which was for... tinnitus and loudness sensitivity. (If anyone doesn't know, MRIs hit about 120dB. I had ear plugs in and ear muffs on, but it still hurts). So if I can survive that unpleasantness, I know you will be fine for sure! Just close your eyes and think of pandas playing street hockey, or Rubb Ed. Whichever makes you smile more.

Phoenix Rev wrote:

This sounds kind of cool... Maybe listen to Aphex Twin to get in the mood...

Chairman_Mao wrote:

Just close your eyes and think of pandas playing street hockey, or Rubb Ed. Whichever makes you smile more.

It's close, but I think I am going with Rubb Ed on this one.

Mex wrote:
Phoenix Rev wrote:

This sounds kind of cool... Maybe listen to Aphex Twin to get in the mood...

Phoenix Rev wrote:

because I feel like I have no control over anything.

On the serious tip, have you thought about meditation? Or perhaps even considered a little Buddhist philosophy in regards to the illusion of control. Control is rooted in fear and is totally a product of ego. Trust that you are perfectly safe in that MRI machine. There has never been an injury or accident in one. It's a bed with a computer. When you're afraid your body's natural reaction is to tense up, to try to predict what will come next. Your mind is in overdrive and your body is tense. It's physically exhausting even though you haven't done anything physical.

Instead, try this once to surrender. Think of being in a canoe in a river with a strong current and trying to paddle upstream. Trying to control where you are going with oars and fighting the current is exhausting. You will tire yourself out in minutes and might not even accomplish your goal. Then imagine dropping the oars, lying back, and allowing the current to gently pull you downstream. Focus on your breathing. Try counting slowly to 5 on an inhale and then count slowly to 5 on the exhale. Increase/decrease the count depending on your lung capacity. And for the wise-asses out there, this river has no waterfall.

I'm butchering this quote but Einstein said something like, "The most important decision we make is whether to believe in a friendly or hostile universe." Which do you believe in, Rev? Which do you want to believe in?

In short, let go and have faith.

Wise words, FSeven. Something I've been working on for a while too with most aspects of my life. I make decisions and I work to improve myself, but I've long since stopped worrying about the idea that I can somehow magically transform my entire life, as most of the things that would need to happen for that "ideal vision" were never really in my control. Been much happier (though that may have also been meeting and dating my now wife around the same time :D) ever since.

Phoenix Rev wrote:
Chairman_Mao wrote:

Just close your eyes and think of pandas playing street hockey, or Rubb Ed. Whichever makes you smile more.

It's close, but I think I am going with Rubb Ed on this one. :)

Bah, combine the best of both worlds and imagine Rubb Ed playing street hockey WITH pandas.

Just be careful not to check them too much. They ARE an endangered species, after all.

As for the control thing, I actually kind of find that amusing, as one of the most overdone Church sermons I've heard throughout my life is the "you don't have control, trust in God" sermon. It doesn't really come that hard for me to relinquish the notion of control, though. I always count on life working out somehow (not without effort on my part, mind you, but that as long as I try and get things done and do well, life will be okay and God will listen to my prayers).

I don't really have any useful advice for how to get through an MRI machine. Laying there for 45-50 minutes without being able to go to sleep, even in silence, sounds like a tough task to handle, let alone with uncomfortable noise. But I believe you can get through it again, perhaps even more easily this time since you've already been through it once.

For what it's worth in my early MRI days something I found that helped was focusing on staying really still, I don't think I could move much in that head cage even if I tried my very best to do so but it would probably be enough to screw with the imaging. So for me one way of feeling more in control during the MRIs was paying acute attention to keeping my body still, my breathing consistent, and acting as though I was helping them get the best pictures possible.

Better images = more accurate diagnosis = more accurate treatment

Spoiler:

IANAD and this may be false but I'm going with it.

Well, crap. Rev woke up this morning with severe vertigo, pain and nausea. I'll keep folks apprised as I find out more, but... crap in a bucket.

Demosthenes wrote:

Something I've been working on for a while too with most aspects of my life.Been much happier (though that may have also been meeting and dating my now wife around the same time :D) ever since.

Crazy how much the ego gets in the way when you stop for awhile to analyze it, huh?

Rubb Ed wrote:

Well, crap. Rev woke up this morning with severe vertigo, pain and nausea. I'll keep folks apprised as I find out more, but... crap in a bucket.

Argh. Hang in there Rev. With the MRIs and the meeting at Barrows it seems as though a resolution is coming closer with each passing day. We're all pulling for you!

Rubb Ed wrote:

Well, crap. Rev woke up this morning with severe vertigo, pain and nausea. I'll keep folks apprised as I find out more, but... crap in a bucket.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! :'(

Tell your brain to stop it Rev! Get better immediately!

Feel better, Rev.


I hope he feels better soon.

Rubb Ed wrote:

Well, crap. Rev woke up this morning with severe vertigo, pain and nausea. I'll keep folks apprised as I find out more, but... crap in a bucket.

So sorry to hear that. Hope you update us with good news soon.
Sending lots of positive energy.

Go go 21st century medical technology!

Hang in there gents. Our continued best to you both.

Still rooting for you with all the best wishes possible. Hang in there and seriously... good thoughts.

I am awake and feeling better and am so thankful that Meclizine is OTC.

It seems like I had a reaction to one of the medications I am taking (the sort of emergency pain med for the headaches if the regular stuff is being less than effective). After speaking with the kind folks over at the neurology clinic, they are fairly certain it was the medication, so I off that script and will be stopping by my PCP or UC unit after the MRI just to make sure it isn't an ear issue (the current issues notwithstanding) such as fluid in the ear, etc.

But, I am up and moving and getting ready for my MRI in a couple of hours.

FSeven wrote:

I'm butchering this quote but Einstein said something like, "The most important decision we make is whether to believe in a friendly or hostile universe." Which do you believe in, Rev? Which do you want to believe in?

For me, the universe is the face of Yahweh. I can choose to look into Her eyes and see the love He has for me or I can choose to cower in fear for being human. I choose the former, knowing that we are made up of the same "star stuff" that makes up the universe. With all due respect to Albert, I don't like his dichotomous choices, but I believe in a loving universe, and I want and do believe that all of this is happening for a reason.

Glad that the trouble this morning appears to have been medication-related rather than an additional symptom of the underlying trouble, Rev.

You two are still in my thoughts, and I (as well as the rest of us here!) are anxious for your health. Hopefully it's something innocuous!

I had to have an MRI done a few years back, and it was one of the big machines that they put you on a gurney and slide you into the machine (rather than the open-air ones now). It was uncomfortable and really noisy, and I focused on controlled breathing and pretending it was just a thunderstorm instead of a big clanking machine (I like thunderstorms, I'm weird). It helped a little.

Farscry wrote:

Glad that the trouble this morning appears to have been medication-related rather than an additional symptom of the underlying trouble, Rev.

You two are still in my thoughts, and I (as well as the rest of us here!) are anxious for your health. Hopefully it's something innocuous!

I had to have an MRI done a few years back, and it was one of the big machines that they put you on a gurney and slide you into the machine (rather than the open-air ones now). It was uncomfortable and really noisy, and I focused on controlled breathing and pretending it was just a thunderstorm instead of a big clanking machine (I like thunderstorms, I'm weird). It helped a little.

They're not all open air ones now. It depends on how strong a magnetic field is needed (mine was closed, yipee).

Good luck PR, hope the exam is going smoothly!

Drat, I'm probably too late, but:

I wouldn't worry too much, Phoenix Rev. Those things hardly ever explode. It's practically unheard-of.

IMAGE(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7326/9473145935_7fb84a94af_z.jpg)

IMAGE(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7438/9473161267_f1a0945283_z.jpg)

With a Monty Python joke... ohhhh, I love you guys.

Yeah for the Python!

I had Farscry's slide-in style MRI machine too, yours looks so much more palatial!

Thumbs up FTW!

I apologize for the late update but as can be imagined, today has worn me out.

The MRI went as best as can be expected. The only problem was that they couldn't find a vein in my hand for the contrast, so I finally just told them to do it in the arm and that worked well. The total time in the MRI machine was about 50 minutes, give or take. The sedative the doctor gave me didn't do much except give me cotton mouth. But by the time I got my things together and put on my shoes, my CDs were ready (from the MRI back in April and the one today).

I then got a ride from my Dad over to the Urgent Care center to have a look at my ears to see if there was fluid building up and causing the vertigo. There was fluid in one of the ears which was probably the culprit, but I am still not taking the other pain medication to be on the safe side. I am on Sudafed and Meclizine in order to get rid of the fluid and not have the vertigo.

After getting home, I was taken to dinner with friends and then crashed for a bit.

So, barring any more surprises, the next stop is the gaggle of neurologists at Barrows on Friday, August 16, who will, hopefully, have a final diagnosis on what is going on.

Rubb Ed wrote:

IMAGE(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7326/9473145935_7fb84a94af_z.jpg)

IMAGE(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7438/9473161267_f1a0945283_z.jpg)

The noises those things make is astonishing. Did they give you headphones with music? That helped me.

When the Star Trek age hits MRI scanners will be a little hand held do-hickey that makes a gentle twirtling noise.

Higgledy wrote:

The noises those things make is astonishing. Did they give you headphones with music? That helped me.

I like the machine as headphones, and pretend I'm listening to Allen Ravenstine warm up the EML synth before an early Pere Ubu session. But then again, I'm a weirdo.

ianunderhill wrote:
Higgledy wrote:

The noises those things make is astonishing. Did they give you headphones with music? That helped me.

I like the machine as headphones, and pretend I'm listening to Allen Ravenstine warm up the EML synth before an early Pere Ubu session. But then again, I'm a weirdo. :)

I was making tunes and fill in sounds to the grinding and thumping noises the one I was in made. The technician asked me what I was doing in there. I kept my head and everything completely still, but he said he saw me tapping out some beats on my hands, and toes at one stage. #yourenotalone

I spoke with Rubb Ed before posting this because he knows this community better than I do, and there comes that time when you wonder if there is a line to cross with information or not. Maybe the line is of my own making, but I am hoping that what I am writing will be understood and, at least, provide me an outlet.

The past 48 hours have been exceptionally difficult because the emotional strain of all of this is starting to wear on me. The range of emotions have been all over the place and a lot of it centers on guilt. That may be an odd emotion to feel vis-a-vis my current medical situation, but I feel guilty because I see all of this as being a horrendous burden on my family, my friends, and, in particular, my husband, whom I cherish and adore and love more than anything on this planet.

I feel completely lost in all of this right now, and Friday's meeting with a gaggle of neurology specialists seems eons away. There is also a profound fear that they will not be able to find anything and then I will continue on trying to find some resolution to all of this.

I am attempting to find a counselor to work with through all of this. I really didn't expect the emotional side to weigh just as heavy on me as the physical side is doing.

And, of course, my longing for the touch of my husband is incredibly overwhelming. Rubb Ed will be here later this week and is going to the neurological appointment with me, which I think will be good for both of us.

In the meantime, I just wish I could find some bit of solace somewhere.